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Mataji as netaji

Raghvendra Deshmukh alias Mataji is a sadhu with considerable political clout in Chhattisgarh. This poll season, he wants to be netaji.
PTI | By Piyush Srivastava, Durg
UPDATED ON APR 03, 2004 02:02 PM IST

Raghvendra Deshmukh alias Mataji is a sadhu with considerable political clout in Chhattisgarh. This poll season, he wants to be netaji.

His first preference was the Congress. So he wrote to Sonia Gandhi about how he could put in a word directly to God, telling him to make her prime minister, as long as she gave him a ticket. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out.

“It seems her managers didn’t pass on my message to her. Because I am told that Bhupesh Baghel is their official candidate from Durg. It is unfortunate that the Congress is not willing to utilise my supernatural powers”, Mataji told Hindustan Times.

So he tried the BJP. But backed out because they already had enough sadhus and sadhvis. “I failed to convince their leaders that I could perform more successful rituals than their present bunch of spiritual politicians”, he sighed.

Someone then suggested the BSP. And here, Mataji had success — or so he claims. “Impressed with my calibre, Mayawati has given me the ticket from Durg. And I have blessed her, so she will have the most successful innings of her political career.”

Bhojram Dadsena, state secretary of the BSP was present when Mataji said this.

Mataji apparently has many disciples, among them Digvijay Singh, Ajit Jogi and V.C. Shukla. But he is not happy with most politicians.

 “I feel hurt by the false promises made routinely by politicians. I want to work for water conservation. I will also continue my fire-sacrifice programme for global peace,” said Mataji who now wants to be netaji.

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